Why it's an exciting time for cricket in Southwick

It’s many years since cricket was played at Buckingham Park, Southwick,  but this year has seen an explosion of games - and there is much more to come for everyone.

A happy bunch ... some of the Southwick CC first XI at Buckingham Park / Picture: Stephen Goodger
A happy bunch ... some of the Southwick CC first XI at Buckingham Park / Picture: Stephen Goodger

When Southwick Cricket Club decided to move league fixtures to Buckingham Park it was not popular with everyone but with just a few games played it is proving to be an ideal site to centralise the growth in participation across Adur.

While Southwick play every Saturday, a new club, the Shoreham Swingers, play most Sundays and on alternative Wednesday evenings, the clubs play 20-over matches against other local teams including Lancing Manor and the Lancing Lightnings, which could see one of them play a final at the county ground.

Cricket is also prospering at other sites with Lancing Manor CC playing their league and slam games at Manor Park and Southwick Green being used by the Duke of Wellington CC and Juniors teams four times a week.

The Chairman of Southwick CC, Des O’Dell, said: "It is fantastic there is so much demand for cricket across Adur in all age groups and adult teams - matches are competitive but in the best of spirits. Looking at the interest we are seeing at the younger age groups this is only going to grow with up to 70 boys and girls aged five to eight years old signed up to the ECB All Stars programme every Friday evening on Southwick Green."

The challenge now is to meet demand and there are a number of events planned over the summer to reach out to other groups who have shown interest - starting this Saturday

19 June – Women’s Cricket at Buckingham Park – An Introduction and game being run by coaches from Sussex CCC, all women interested in taking part are very welcome. There will also be Junior sessions run by local coaches to allow mums to take part knowing their children are doing the same. There are no charges involved.

23 and 26 June – Eight-week Introduction to cricket courses start as part of the council’s Get Active programme. Encouraging adults to participate in exercise through cricket, locally these are at Middle Road Rec and Fishersgate Park. Details can be found on Facebook. Pay £10 at the start complete 6 out of 8 sessions and get your £10 back! It’s all free

25 July – Charity Cricket Day at Southwick Green for the fantastic charities ESTEEM and SOLD – both helping local young people. Apart from the cricket there will be lots of stalls and refreshments to help boost fund raising, please come and help some great local initiatives.

O'Dell said: "Apart from having fun playing we are in ongoing discussions with the council to grow and improve cricket facilities in Adur to match this demand. Many opportunities have been identified." If you want to find out more please contact us at [email protected]